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Despite heated exchange, Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens 'wouldn’t change Jarvis Landry for anything'

Despite their heated exchange on the sideline in last Sunday’s loss, Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens is happy to have Jarvis Landry on the team.

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns’ frustrations seemingly manifested themselves in the form of a heated exchange between star receiver Jarvis Landry and head coach Freddie Kitchens during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 38-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

After rookie kicker Austin Seibert pushed a 45-yard field goal attempt wide left with 12:05 to play in the fourth quarter, a miss that prevented the Browns from making it a one-score game, Landry appeared to yell at Kitchens before being encouraged to walk away by a staff member and linebacker Christian Kirksey.

Despite the outward appearance of questioning his leadership, Kitchens was not upset with Landry.

“I wouldn’t change Jarvis for anything,” Kitchens said following film sessions and meetings Monday.

“Jarvis plays the game with passion, which I love. He is tough. He is physical. He wants to win. When you want to win as badly as Jarvis does, sometimes your emotion gets the best of you. I don’t have a problem with Jarvis. He is one of my favorites the way he plays the game, him as a person and everything.”

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Landry had just eight targets against the Cardinals, which he turned into five catches for only 23 yards in the 14-point loss, the Browns’ fourth double-digit setback of the season.

Landry was “very” frustrated with the overall play of the team against the Cardinals, and specifically, about his lack of a role in the offense during the second and third quarters, when the Browns were still in the game.

Despite the exchange, both Landry and his longtime friend, fellow wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., took up for their head coach in post-game sessions with the media.

“I like the guys I coach,” Kitchens said. “I like the guys our coaches coach on a daily basis. I like the energy and the passion our guys play with. In our room and in our building, we are in it together. These guys will continue to play together. We built that through being through the fire together.

“It doesn’t surprise me, no, but understand where that comes from. That comes from work together, going through the fires together. We are going to stay together these last two weeks. I don’t care what happens, these guys will stay together. They have demonstrated that. Now, we just have to perform better.”

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With the mounting losses and the Browns teetering on the brink of elimination from postseason contention and extending the NFL’s longest active playoff drought to 17 consecutive seasons, Kitchens’ future very much has come into question, but it is not a concern for the bench boss.

“That is down the road,” Kitchens said. “We have to get ready for a big football game, a divisional football game this week.

“Our energy can’t be focused on two weeks from now. Seriously, I am in it today and trying to get them better today. That is it. That is where our guys’ focus is. I am pretty sure that is where John Dorsey’s focus is -- getting better today.”

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